Growth & Outreach

Sponsored by the Growth/Outreach Committee

2021 CHILDREN’S EASTER KITS

Never let anyone say that the challenges of Covid-19 kept us from our Discipleship outreach. Since we were not able to conduct our Annual Easter Egg hunt on Easter Sunday, the Growth/ Outreach Committee met to discuss other things we could do.  Nancy Row suggested putting together an “Easter Basket” for the kids. After much discussion, we settled on Easter “kits” and Ann Fitts began purchasing the items for all age children – from 1 to 14 from a list the Committee set forth. These kits contained lots of items from a dozen “Disciple Eggs” (each one contained a picture of 1 of the 12 disciples), a bubble wand, candy (nothing that contained any possible allergens), an Easter wreath that could be put together, some books, Easter stickers, and other miscellaneous items related to the Easter story. We also had a few kits for infants under the age of 1 with appropriate items. Also, each bag had a “lucky egg” inside the Disciple Egg container. That lucky egg enabled them to attend a FaceBook Live session on Palm Sunday where they participated in opening the disciple eggs in search of a lucky egg (every child got one) and explored the different activities, toys and candy in their bags. A book on the events of Holy Week was read. An egg panting party is planned for Sunday, April 25th at 11:30, after church, where the kids can redeem their lucky eggs for prizes. Eric Hale, one of our parishioner artists, will be facilitating this rock painting.

We had people sign up for a total of 71 Kits, which were given out on Saturday, March 27th from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the back of the church, with virtually no contact.

Several folks came together to help put all of the 71 kits together, including members of the Growth/Outreach Committee (Ann Fitts, Nancy Row, Lois Leigh, and Betsy Taylor). Other parishioners included Donna Starkweather. We first advertised to our parishioners, and once we saw the great response with lots of orders, we then enlisted the help of our Sunday School Director, Maya Fitts, to advertise on our FaceBook page and a couple of other social media groups.  Our social media outlet asked folks to sign up on SignUp Genius with their email so that we could reconnect with them later and invite them to future events.

Pictured below are: Donna Starkweather, Nancy Row, Betsy Taylor Calender, Lois Leigh and Ann Fitts while putting together some of the Easter Kits. We hope the children enjoyed our kits as much as we enjoyed putting them together!

We lucked out with the weather and had a great day for picking up the kits. After some families picked up their kits, they hung around and did some “socializing” while adhering to the social distance guidelines.  Pictured below are the Zolkiewicz kids with baby Ada Dalton!

Here is a photo of Janice Peterson’s daughter & grandchildren enjoying the kits!

SCHOOL BACKPACK DONATION PROJECT

In the Fall of 2019, our Growth & Outreach Committee conducted a fundraiser to collect school supplies in order to make and distribute backpacks for needy elementary school children. Our Prayer Bead ministry also donated a set of prayer beads for each backpack, and we included them as well. We were quite successful and collected enough supplies & prayer beads for 40 backpacks.

We inquired with the Montgomery County school district and were told they really didn’t need any additional backpacks other than what they already had through their own state programs. We then asked Prince George’s County school district and they, too, did not have a need.

Fast forward to the spring of 2020, and while we were still looking for recipients, Covid-19 hit and we shut down our face-to-face meetings. So, the backpacks sat in our possession until we finally found a home for them in December of 2020. Randy Beans, a Committee member, contacted the Bishop Nolan Episcopal Day School in Lake Charles, Louisiana and found out that not only would they take all 40 of the backpacks, but they said if they had any left over, they would donate them to another local charity in Lake Charles called DeWanna’s Community Closet – www.dewannascloset.com  

In January 2021, Randy shipped all 40 backpacks to the school. Below is a photo of the kids who received them. Our thanks to Randy for being so committed to this project.

Betsy Taylor, Chair, Growth/Outreach Committee

St. Bartholomews Episcopal Church